By Erica Techo
Ethical thinking and decision-making skills are not necessarily quantifiable, but they are important for all professionals to have in their toolkit. As a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of UAB Honors Faculty Fellows, School of Nursing Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate and Prelicensure Programs – Alternate Pathways Lynn Nichols, PhD, RN, BC, SANE, is challenging students to sharpen these skills.
Each year, full-time faculty members are selected for the fellowship, where they host enrichment opportunities for undergraduate honors students. Nichols was selected to be a fellow by a committee of honors students, and she will spend her fellowship hosting monthly interactive seminars called “Ethics Cafés.” Each seminar will have a central topic, such as ethical decision-making; empathy; culture, diversity and inclusion ethics; and others.
“On the surface, people look at health-related issues and can see ethics at play as far as what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ but it is important to realize that all professions have ethical issues present,” Nichols said. “Through this fellowship, I’m able to bring my perspective as a nurse and share my experiences with ethics, while hearing from students with different perspectives and from different schools. We will not only cover these topics in a broad sense, but we’ll all benefit from the diversity of viewpoints and opinions present.”
The first seminar is on Sept. 19, and meetings will continue monthly through April.
“I want students to grow in their understanding of ethics and to be able to apply ethical principles in their student and professional lives,” Nichols said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the lightbulb and ‘Aha!’ moments as students participate in this seminar.”
To learn more about The Ethics Café, email Nichols at email@example.com.
Other members of the 2019-20 cohort of UAB Honors Faculty Fellows include Krista Casazza, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics; Robin Lanzi, PhD, professor in the Department of Health Behavior; and Kevin McCain, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy.
Nichols is a three-time graduate of the UAB School of Nursing earning her BSN (1989), MSN (1993) and PhD (2000) from the School.